FACING likely suspension from the party, Shellharbour deputy mayor Paul Rankin has declared having "no confidence" in his Liberal colleague, former mayor Kellie Marsh.
And Cr Marsh has criticised her fellow councillor for not deciding to "man up" and help repair any rift.
Shellharbour's two Liberal councillors again split the non-Labor vote on September 17.
Both Liberal councillors nominated for mayor, echoing last year's vote, when Cr Marsh was ousted from the mayoral role after just one year.
During last week's mayoral vote, Cr Marsh was supported by independent Cr Peter Moran, but Cr Rankin abstained.
Cr Rankin expected his decision would confirm his suspension from the Liberal Party.
He was already facing party disciplinary action after breaking a written agreement when he stood for mayor on September 17.
"I've heard it from independent sources, nothing official," he said.
"They say it's a three-year suspension, which would put me out of contention if I wanted to be preselected for a state or federal seat, or a local government ticket.
Cr Rankin said he abstained due to losing confidence in Cr Marsh and her "close association" with the Greens, including member Cr Moran.
"She leaked the agreement . . . I don't want to discuss Liberal Party matters and worry they'll be leaked," Cr Rankin said.
"If she brings a worthy motion to the floor, I'm quite happy to support that.
"It comes down to who she's advised by, and they're people I would rather not associate with."
Cr Rankin believed issues between the pair stemmed from the 2012 and 2013's initial mayoral vote.
"Kellie has had the opportunity to work with me to try and mend rifts in the past, and that hasn't occurred," he said.
"(Becoming an independent councillor) doesn't tie me to party politics . . . When it comes to mayoral re-elections and things like that, I can vote for who I think is the best candidate, not told to vote because it's a party member."
"While Marianne and I will disagree, the whole functionality of council goes on."
Cr Marsh said she had a "close association with everybody in the community", and would work with them regardless of affiliation.
"I'm here to represent people who not only support Liberal, but support all members of the community.
"I would love to know what Cr Rankin's issues are; the only opportunity I get to hear it is by third party, or local media.
"If that is the case (losing confidence in her) it would be nice if he could 'man up', say it to me directly and explain why."
Cr Marsh declined to comment on disciplinary action for her colleague.
A Liberal Party spokesperson said the party was looking into the matter as to what further action could be taken.